Computer maker Acer took the wraps off its latest series of Intel-powered Ultrabooks, the Aspire S7 Series, featuring a unibody design made from a single block of aluminum, high-definition In-Plane Switching (IPS) 10-point touch-screen displays with 1920 x 1080 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass, and configured to run Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system. The Aspire S7 Series starts at $1,199 for the 11.6-inch model (S7-191) and $1,399 for the 13.3-inch model (S7-391) and will hit store shelves and online retailers Oct. 26, the company said.
The notebooks include third-generation Intel Core i5-3317UB or i7-3517U processors and solid-state drives in a RAID 0 configuration for faster read/write times, as well as an embedded lithium-polymer battery that provides up to 6 hours of battery life. An optional second battery doubles computing time up to 12 hours, according to an Acer release. All models in the Aspire S7 Series also include Theft Shield, a free software-based solution that recognizes the distance from a designated WiFi signal source, and if the system moves beyond 10 feet of the signal, a loud siren will sound from the Ultrabook's speakers.
To enhance durability, Acer included a thin, soft cushion of material between the aluminum frame and the Gorilla Glass, so if the S7 is dropped, the impact will mainly be absorbed by the system and not the glass. The touch-enabled screen found on the S7-391 models can be laid back flat 180 degrees and the image orientation reversed for sharing and collaborating with others. The company incorporated an electroluminescent (El) backlit keyboard, which automatically turns on and off and adjusts its brightness level based on the ambient light available.
Acer created a new thermal solution called "TwinAir" cooling, a thermal design that extends battery life and keeps the Ultrabook cool and comfortable to use by employing two small high-speed (10,000rpm) thermal fans—one to pull in cool air, while another releases hot air. Rounding out the feature set is Green Instant-On technology for fast boot and resume, and Always Connect, which lets users manage multimedia and data on all their devices.
The notebooks also ship with AcerCloud, which provides customers with remote access to the digital data residing on their Ultrabook via their Android tablet or smartphone. Users can also download and share that data among their other PCs and Android devices even when the S7 is in sleep mode. If the Aspire S7 is in sleep mode, Always Connect technology can wake it up through WiFi, allowing the media to be retrieved via a mobile device. AcerCloud also makes it possible to take photos on a smartphone and then view them on their S7 at home or in the office.
"Acer took a fresh approach to the design and development of the Aspire S7, using premium construction methods and materials," Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing for Acer, said in a prepared statement. "We also used cutting-edge manufacturing processes that are not typically used in the PC industry, but were necessary to achieve the high-level of engineering and design quality we set for the S7."